2001 Mazda Protege DX Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2001 Mazda Protege - Consumer Reviews

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2001 Protege Consumer Reviews

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Holding strong after 15 years
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By kamary99
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)


Review

My 2001 Mazda Protege has been my main car since it was new; it recently passed the 100K miles mark and is still going strong. The ABS is vital for winter driving. Never been in a serious accident. Still has good pick-up and responsiveness. Hard to imagine getting a better value for a car than this. Major repairs so far: Transmission got replaced about five years in. Front brakes replaced last year. It definitely needs new struts and perhaps shocks at this point; the handling has deteriorated some. Minor issues: Digital clock stopped working immediately. Rust around the wheel wells starting about 3 years ago. The hubcaps won't stay on at all anymore.


Favorite Features

Very responsive and easy to handle. ABS and cruise control come in handy. There's plenty of leg room for tall people in front (my spouse and I are both about 6'). The windows in the back go all the way down, which kids and dogs both appreciate. Compared to other cars on the road, this one looks very basic and no-frills. I happen to like that.


Suggested Improvements

Road noise -- Got to turn the radio way up when on the highway. It's finally starting to get to me. Lack of road noise is the first thing I notice now in newer cars.


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Great car for the most part
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bond_fanatic18
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege LX 2.0 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

My dad bought a gold '01 Protege brand new when I was a kid. It was never driven much, mainly used as a backup car. When I got my licence it was my ride to high school and in general as I hated driving my mother's van. I drove it for a year before my dad traded it for a 2012 Honda CR-V. It did its job fine, got me to school and back without fuss, was fun to drive with the 5-speed and great on gas. The only problem I had was the alternator crapping out in the middle of the freeway and I had to have it towed. Apart from that it was pretty reliable. I'd recommend it, just watch out for rust problems and keep it to a meticulous maintenance schedule. Also not the best car to learn stick on.


Favorite Features

On a good day the ride was actually pretty good despite the stick shift. It was pretty fast with the 2.0 and handled great. It was a good commuter car for a high school student. It was also quite roomy, I'm 6'4 and fit just fine and it had room for 3 friends in the back and wasn't too bad on an hour long road trip. No major problems except the alternator, nothing about the rods, struts or anything like a lot of reviews I've read. It's a fine first car as long as you take care of it


Suggested Improvements

Not the best car to learn stick on. The clutch is touchy and the car itself didn't take too kindly to me at first. I learned in driver's ed and we got along better. Watch the original parts as the alternator that died hadn't been changed. Also watch out for rust. Proteges have been notorious for rust problems and ours was no exception, that's partly why we got rid of it. The ride was pretty bumpy at times, when my dad got the CR-V all my friends said they didn't miss the Mazda and TBH, I didn't either. I guess I just have higher standards with cars.


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I can't justify replacing it
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 200kcarsonly
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I have zero regrets about keeping this car for 130K. I have had to put new struts on it to rejuvenate the ride but it was worth the expense. If you are looking for one, I suggest trying to find an ES because it has ABS and side airbags. The ABS saved me from a collision once for sure. If I am going to drive around in a little car I need a few modern safety features. The ES does require more expensive tires but Kumho makes a tire that fits the ES rim that has been a decent tire me. Unfortunately, this car is not good in snow with the factory rims/ tires. I bought snow tires on steel rims to put on in winter when the car was in Wisconsin.


Favorite Features

Steering and handling are excellent for an inexpensive car. Great seats with lots of adjustablitiy.


Suggested Improvements

The 5th gear is to small as it revs rather high at 70 MPH. If you need to drive really fast for long trips like in the western states you may not like this car as much as I do. Unfortunately, this car is not good in snow with the factory rims/ tires. I bought snow tires on steel rims when I had the car in Wisconsin for 4 years.


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Decent Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By shizzel12
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege LX 2.0 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

Good quick car to get around the city and beat other cars to a parking spot. handles good and can take tight turns that you couldnt do with most vehicles. For a 4 cylinder this car can move when you need it to. Most 4 cylinders dont have the best highway driving but this car accelerates good at higher speeds and passes with ease. I dont recommend it though if you will only be using it for highway driving because the ride is a little bumpy. I dont really care much for the mpg because for a car this size you expect it to have better gas. When i bought this car i was a little skepticle but it turned out to do what i needed it to do and i gave i just sold it in good condition with 173000 miles.


Favorite Features

Quick, peppy, reliable, easy to park, cheap


Suggested Improvements

better gas, not very comfortible ride


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My 2nd Protege
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By CR
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)


Review

Of all the purchasing decisions I have made in my life, choosing the 2001 Protege 5-speed DX has probably been my single best decision. I bought it used with 64k miles; it looks and runs the same after 96k miles. Replaced brakes, shocks and battery when I bought it, timing belt and other belts just now. Nothing else. My two longevity tips: use synthetic oil and hand-wax it. The only issues: The famous digital clock problem expanded to the entire radio, which now fails to operate. More road noise than I'd prefer on the highway. First signs of rust showing near the wheel wells, probably from winter salt.


Favorite Features

Superior driver legroom for a small car.


Suggested Improvements

Eliminate window air noise at highway speeds.


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GOING TO MISS HER
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Willowbefree
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I've loved this car for the past 9 years that I have owned it. The tires have been the greatest disappointment...expensive to replace when I had to replace them after the first 30,000 miles. (Dunlop has a set that fits and lasts much longer...however still at $120.00/piece) Zoom zoom zoom is very true..I love this car during the summer here in WI..it grips the roads and I can fly! In the winter I need to change modes and respect what the season brings. I love the 60/40 back seat split as I take my xc skis and boating gear with me often. Overall, I'm going to miss my Mazda and hope my "new" Subaru treats me 1/2 as good. (needed room for more gear and a puppy)


Favorite Features

Grips the road during the summer, plenty of trunk space and love the 60/40 back seat split


Suggested Improvements

-cheaper tires or rims which would give the owner an option for cheaper tires -check the wheel wells...mine filled up with H20 and ae rusting out -plastic headlights that don't discolor


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The Best Car I've ever owned
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By queenb
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I have always loved the Protege. This one has over 165k and is still going strong. Makes me say "zoom zoom" every time I go around a corner fast. Never had a problem with it, it has never been in the shop for anything other than routine care. Everything still works great. No electrical problems at all. Someone just hit it, how do I part with the best car ever?


Favorite Features

I love the quickness of the car. I have a 5 speed.


Suggested Improvements

They should have thrown in tinted windows.


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Fantastic fit and finish
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Scott
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I have owned plenty of cars over the years and know good fit and finish when I see it. This Protege' is top notch. The five speed transmission is as crisp as any Miata. Fuel economy is in the low 30s. If you are in the market for a reliable, good looking economical sedan this may be your car. I like it so much I'm now looking for a pristine 03' Protege' 5.


Favorite Features

Interior design, fit and finish, performance, fuel economy.


Suggested Improvements

Wish it had leather seats, but the upgraded cloth is still ok.


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way to rusty
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By nannyp
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)


Review

Overall my Mazda performs well, but body rust is a BIG problem. I only have 100,000 KM on it but it started to rust the 3rd year I had it. I had a special rust coating applied at the time of purchase but the dealership will not honor it until there are holes in the body. For that reason I will not buy another Mazda.


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My Protege
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By MedinaC29
on

Vehicle

2001 Mazda Protege LX 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I love this car. I bought it used with 48,000 mi. Now it has 115,100 mi. It is so great on gas and now with gas prices being almost $4.00 I am not feeling as much pain as others. I've had minor problems, unexpected issues but other than that I am satisfied with it. I've added a couple of different things to it like, a spoiler, euro carbon fiber tail lights, wind visors, tinted windows etc. I also replaced the radio because the factory radio was messing up on me big time. You would press clock and it would show the CD track # and vice versa. So I replaced it. Just recently got a new paint job and it looks even better!


Favorite Features

Gas mileage, reliable, cool and the moonroof. It's also a good looking car, especially in silver.


Suggested Improvements

More room. My husband is 6'5" and we have to take breaks on long trips because there isn't enough room for his legs to stretch. Better radio, factory was good for a while but not that long. Better cupholders. A large cup tips over because of the way the display is built.


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